The current US Military strategy focuses on maintaining influence over Iraq to enhance its supremacy in the Middle East. Why is the US Military not moving away from the Middle East? Why does the US military strategy seem like a power play in the Middle East, as the ISIS group has already been eliminated from Iraq?
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The US Military strategy is currently working towards enhancing their role in Iraq and the Middle East, as the influence of Russia and Iran surges. It seems like the US is concerned about Iraq becoming an Iranian dominant region and the fact that the influence of Iran on the Middle East could turn against the US. A military analyst from Iraq stated that the current US military strategy was thus focused on creating a regional power-balance by stationing their troops in Iraq.
US Military Strategy and It’s Hold on Iraq
The US invaded Iraq in 2003, bypassing the UN Security Council, stating that Iraq was promoting and supporting terrorism and held mass destruction weapons. However, it was clear from the start that the main motive of the then US military strategy was to cripple the reign of Saddam Hussein who supported an anti-US regime.
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A damaging effect of this US military strategy and the war on Iraq was the conflict between the Shiites (Iran) and Sunnis (Saudi Arabia). The Iraqi analyst also said the US was continuing to maintain its power on the region to hold control over the regional conflict, as well as, receive concessions from regional nations to eliminate their wealth.
Iran’s Role in the Middle East Challenges US Military Strategy
The Iranian influence over the Middle East is increasing and this is the greatest challenge for the US. The close ties between the US and Saudi Arabia is another reason why the US continues to be stationed in the centre of the conflicted region; giving more power to SA. US military strategy is also working on confronting Iran and its presence in Iraq, which is seen as a threat to the interests the US holds in the Middle East.
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US has always claimed that the main reason they were continuing to hold troops in Iraq was to stabilise the region that had been under the control of IS and help the people who were displaced, return home. The US also claims to be working towards bringing in a social reform and peace in the region by uniting the societies in Iraq. However, another military expert said that the US military strategy was only maintaining its hold on Iraq to ensure that no other terrorist groups from neighbouring borders claim the region. The increasing troops and forces on the borders may lead to a cut off the road connection between Iran and Syria.
This high power play by the US in the Iraqi region could bring about aggression and retaliation from Iranian backed militants in Iraq against the US troops and lead to another conflict and war-like situation in the region.